From the Office of Energy Independence:

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the Office of Energy Independence will host two free renewable energy financing workshops for industry businesses and researchers. The workshops will provide information about the new Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund (WEIF), a renewable energy loan and grant program administered by Commerce, as well as other available renewable energy resources.

“I am pleased that Commerce is able to offer these free workshops as another step toward Wisconsin’s energy independence,” said Commerce Secretary Jack L. Fischer, AIA. “Governor Doyle’s Clean Energy Wisconsin plan calls for $15 million annually in grants and loans for research and development, commercialization or adoption of new technologies, and supply chain development.”

Information about how to apply for the WEIF program, eligibility, and program requirements will be explained at the meeting.

The workshops will be held in:

Madison: Friday, April 18 from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Commerce, 201 W. Washington Avenue.

Stevens Point: Friday, April 25, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., UW-Stevens Point, Legacy Room, Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve Street.

The application period for the first round of funding will run from April 1 to June 2, 2008. For application materials and more information about the program and a program fact sheet, visit the Department of Commerce.

The Office of Energy Independence (OEI) has additional information on other state programs, federal grants, and private funds available for clean energy and fuel-related projects. Contact David Jenkins, OEI, (608) 264-7651,